The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) told Nigerians to expect low rainfall in 2019

Nigerians has been warned by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) to expect lower than normal rainfall in most parts of Nigeria in the year 2019. The predictions stated that the onset of rainfall in the coastal areas and the south-eastern zone of Nigeria will be normal while the northern parts of the country will experience a late onset of rains.

During the 2019 Seasonal Rainfall Prediction (SRP) presentation in Abuja on Thursday, by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet), the Minister of State for Aviation,  Hadi Sirika stated that the rains will come to an end earlier than normal in the northern part of Nigeria leading to an earlier than normal end of growing season.

The length of growing season in Nigeria for the year 2019 will be shorter than previous years as a result of frequent and severe dry spell over most parts of the country, especially in the northern part of the country as a result of shortened rainfall period for the year.

The Minister of State for Aviation calls for a careful and scientific management of farmers in the areas affected to avoid abysmal low yields of agricultural products.

Mr. Hadi Sirika also highlighted that the lower than normal rainfall predicted for 2019 does not in any way rule out the possibility of flash floods as isolated flash floods may still occurs during the peak flood periods especially in areas which are naturally probe to flooding due to high intensity of rainfall.

Mr. Hadi Sirika advised farmers and all stakeholders in the agricultural sector to carefully study the report of the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) and to ensure an effective harnessing of the climate resource to ensure minimal losses from associated hazards, which were becoming quite devastating in this era of climate change.

On a brighter note, the minister stated that at least a thirty (30) percent in agricultural could be recorded if the information provided by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) is effectively utilised.

The minister stated that to ensure updated information on climatic condition in the country, the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) had been embarking on various upgrade to improve on their services to Nigerians. Some of the areas where these improvement include the upgrading of the Doppler Weather Radar, increasing stations density from fifty-four (54) to more than one hundred (100), installation of more than fifty (50) Automatic Weather Stations and the Lightning Detecting instrument. Other areas include the installation of the Low Level Wind Shear Alert system amongst many other improved instrumentation and forecasting techniques.

According to the Director General of NiMet, Sani Mashi, the earliest onset date for rainfall was predicted to be from March 7 around the coastal region of the south-south and this onset dates are expected to change as we move northwards with areas around Maiduguri, Sokoto, Katsina, Dutse, Potiskum, Kano and Nguru, but this delay is likely to be more evident in the northern states.

He also stated that, “The earliest cessation dates for rainfall are expected to be from September 29 around the north-western parts of the country. “Most of the north is expected to witness cessation dates within October, while the growing season is expected to end between late October and mid-November. While Parts of the central and southern states are expected to experience end of season by mid-November to early December while along the coast, the season is expected to end by late December.

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